AGENT Q&A with Peter Ramsey, MD & Founder, MovemLast Updated: February 1, 2019
“Not much else beats the feeling of launching something new… when it comes together for the first time, and works, that’s special! Peter Ramsey, founder of Movem, the ‘Airbnb for residential tenancies’, looks back over the first five years of his successful business.
Peter Ramsey is regarded as one of the brightest and most successful startup entrepreneurs in the UK. It’s unsurprising to learn that he left university to pursue his business dream with Movem, the company that he founded as an ‘Airbnb for residential tenancies’.
“Not much else beats the feeling of launching something new… when it comes together for the first time, and works, that’s special!”
It was university that not only provided Peter Ramsey with the skills necessary to start out in business, but also the life experience that showed the need for his startup company.
Ramsey, who had actually been web developing since the age of 14, was studying business and law at Bournemouth University, when he had a run-in with a landlord who attempted to charge him and his flatmates hundreds of pounds without no legitimate reason. Wanting to get the message out about this landlord, Ramsey found there was no online reviews forum for the rental system.
Undaunted, Peter Ramsey created a WordPress site, which he named Movem, and thanks to the support of a number of angel investors, he was soon able to drop out of University and concentrate full-time on developing Movem as a business. A year after leaving university, Ramsey was able to crowdfund £140,000 for Movem via Crowdcube, and in 2016, he crowdfunded an additional £200,000 for the business. A further round of crowdfunding in 2017 has brought Movem’s crowdfunding total up to almost £750,000.
The ‘hook’ with Movem is incredibly simple and effective. It enables tenants to review their rental experiences in particular properties, but also to build a reputation as a tenant who is trustworthy, ensuring minimum standards for everyone in the residential tenancies sector. Movem is being used by every university in the UK, and with shareholders including tenants, letting agencies and landlords, this helps to ensure that Movem will be better and faier to all in the process.
Movem has received unanimously positive reviews, with no less a source than the BBC declaring that it is really something that agents can’t afford to miss out on”. This is all music to the ears for Peter Ramsey, of course, whose simple goal with Movem is to make renting easier for everyone.
12 Questions for Peter Ramsey, MD of Movem
Peter Ramsey spoke to AGENT about his life at the helm of Movem, recalling the earliest days of his business, his inspirations, and spoke about what he has learned along the way, sharing some of the most important lessons he has learned as an entrepreneur for the benefit of young people setting up their own businesses today.
1. Briefly tell us about your business and your business goals.
Movem is a review-driven property portal, similar in concept to an Airbnb for residential tenancies. Our mission is to make renting more transparent are fairer for everybody involved.
2. What age were you when you realised you wanted to run your own business?
I was 19 and dropped out of university to start Movem.
3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?
I know it’s cliched, but I’m genuinely inspired by Elon Musk. Not because of anything in particular, but he dreams big; bigger than anyone else. I hope that one day I can think of something as impactful as ‘making reusable rockets and taking them to Mars’.
4. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it?
I think for most startups, the issue is funding. You can have ideas, but often you need developers and other people on board to turn those ideas into something tangible. We’ve crowdfunded twice – actually we’re crowdfunding on Crowdcube right now (105% funded in a week).
5. What gives you the most satisfaction in business?
Interesting question. I’d say not much else beats the feeling of launching something new. I’ve spent the last 18 months working on a new feature called Movem Passport, and it’s had real moments where we thought it’d never happen. But that moment when it does come together for the first time, and works, that’s special.
6. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?
Aha, if it is possible I haven’t achieved it. This is actually something I know I need to work on. I’m almost obsessive when it comes to work, and definitely fall victim to burning the candle at both ends.
7. What is the first thing you do every day?
I wish I could say I go for a jog, or do something remotely healthy, but I don’t. I regrettably crawl out of bed, and then check updates on my phone – like some kind of possessed millennial.
8. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?
I have a Movem branded screensaver I made for myself. Lame, right?
9. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?
WhatsApp probably, or maybe Slack. I could live without both, but it’d be a real pain in the arse!
10. What is the last thing you Googled?
The spelling of ‘nerve-racking’. I was wondering if it was nerve-wracking or -racking. It’s the latter.
11. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?
Oh, my phone. Does anyone ever answer anything else these days? We all need our phones. Have you ever tried leaving your phone at home? It sucks.
12. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in business?
Be patient, and no Peter, you don’t know everything. Oh, and warn your mum in advance how stressful this will be for the both of you!